News Release Archive

For centuries it has been yuk to slugs, but if author Sherman
Bleakney of Wolfville has anything to do with it he'll call them
something wonderful, even fantastic.

Mr. Bleakney and some of his "sluggish friends" will be
celebrating Oceans Day on June 8 at the Museum of Natural
History, Summer Street, Halifax.

Mr. Bleakney has created a compelling and easy read in a
pocket-book titled Sea Slugs of Atlantic Canada and Gulf of
Maine. This guide, first of its kind for the region, is full of
neat facts, clear illustrations and important scientific data
about these animals.

"There is no other invertebrate so esthetically exciting,"
enthused the naturalist-author. "Their flamboyant colour patterns
and extravagant body movements are simply spectacular; they are
truly fun to watch."

Sea slugs are not the same agricultural pests you see in your
garden but colourful marine animals whose evolution has given
them a long symmetrical body that allows them to move with grace.
The Spanish Dancer, an exotic species of sea slug, creates
beautiful body movements as it swims along by undulating the
folds of its red skirt.

"This book is the work of someone who is informed and passionate
about their subject, and that makes it entertaining," said Sarah
Pelley, a naturalist who lives on Nova Scotia's south shore.

There are almost 3,000 species of sea slugs in the world, about
100 in Atlantic Canada. They come in all shapes, colour and
texture. Most are too small and toxic to eat, so what are they
good for? For starters, they're good for the environment and
people: they eat unwanted poisonous foodstuffs from the sea.
Their colour-coded brain cells give scientists important
information for studying human learning and behaviour. Sea slugs
are also used in examining tissue-transplant responses, viruses,
cancer and bacteria.

Sea Slugs of Atlantic Canada and Gulf of Maine is an easy-to-use
guide for discovering where to find these animals along the
coastline and how to identify them. Published by Nimbus and the
Nova Scotia Museum, the 216-page book is available at the museum
shop for $12.95.


Contact: Brenda Boutilier

NOTE TO EDITORS: Sherman Bleakney will be at the museum from 1:30
p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on June 8 to launch his book. He would be
pleased to arrange individual interviews.

trp                        June 3, 1997 - 11:05 a.m.